QI on the BBC

Via Neatorama, I recently learned about QI (which stands for ‘quite interesting’). It’s a quiz show that combines all the best things about British television: the BBC, bracing intellectualism and Stephen Fry. Here’s the first ten minutes of the very first episode, from way back in 2003:

Recurring guest Alan Davies, in particular, is enormously funny. We don’t really have the ‘comedy quiz show’ in North America, but it seemed to be a staple of British TV when I lived in Ireland. The basic formula involves getting four or five smart, funny men together on a goofy sound stage and letting them make jokes at each other.


  1. One of my favorite podcasts falls into that catagory. It’s a BBC sports chat program called Fighting Talk and they talk about UK sports (mainly football), but at least half of it is them making fun of each other and the subjects.

    Like Sports Talk radio, but interesting with interesting people. It’s formatted like contest, with the best pundits scoring points.

  2. Bracing (and brazen) intellectualism indeed.

    In North America intellectual TV programming has to be elitist and dull, so as to limit population exposure to it.

    Closest North America parallel to QI (that I have seen (bits of)): Hollywood Squares. And that’s just sad.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: